about who could toss the most consecutive Tails
in 10 flips of a fair coin.
Davey went first and came up with H T T H T H T T T H -- 3 Tails in a row
Tom was next, and he flipped T T H T H H T T H H -- only 2 Tails in a row, but twice.
Next was Pete, who struck out completely with T H T H T H T H T H -- none.
Slim was next, starting out with 5 Tails; T T T T T H H T H H -- 5.
Then the unthinkable happened: Alex flipped 10 consecutive Tails.
Phil grabbed a pencil and tried to figure the odds, but he'd had too many beers.
So had Davey, but it didn't stop him from opining that none of them, in any of
their lifetimes, would see again what Alex had done.
They all agreed, and toasted Alex the rest of the night.
Slim felt slighted, saying his sequence was improbable enough for him to at
least have gotten a free beer. And Davey and Tom mumbled that it would be
tough to repeat what they'd done, too. Finally, Pete claimed that even his
result deserved a frosty one, "on the house."
But Matt the mathematician -- when he was sober at least -- would have none
of the whining. "Anybody could do what you blokes done t'night," he snarled,
"but it would take a bazillion years to do what Alex did."
Who was right?
Departing from my normal MO, here's my answer.